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June 2013 Vol. 12 No. 4

Mobile device backup might be impossible

Doing a selective mobile device backup that separates work data and personal data can't be done, says analyst Jason Buffington, but perhaps not for the reasons you think. Before I get started, let me define the two basic types of endpoint devices: consumption devices and creation devices. Consumption devices are like e-readers that fetch data from a cloud repository. As long as there's a log-in screen that keeps someone who finds a lost device from ordering every book in the store, there isn't much risk in losing a consumption device. If it breaks, you replace it and re-sync the content. Even if the device is used for business, the corporate documents likely come from Dropbox, GoogleDocs, SkyDrive or a similar service that typically doesn't require explicit backups. Creation devices can be used to create new content that might not exist elsewhere. Like consumption devices, creation devices often leverage online file-sharing services that can ensure data survives even if the device doesn't. In addition to the data files, the ...

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